gumshoe

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English[edit]

Gumshoe (sneaker or rubber overshoe).

Etymology[edit]

gum +‎ shoe[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ˈɡʌm.ʃuː/
  • (file)
  • (file)

Noun[edit]

gumshoe (plural gumshoes)

  1. A sneaker or rubber overshoe. [from mid 19th c.]
  2. (slang, Canada, US) A detective. [from early 20th c.]
    Synonyms: detective, dick, private eye, sleuth
    • 1920, William MacLeod Raine, chapter 20, in The Big-Town Round-Up:
      "Who's this gumshoe guy from the bush league tailin' us?"

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Verb[edit]

gumshoe (third-person singular simple present gumshoes, present participle gumshoeing, simple past and past participle gumshoed)

  1. (slang) To act as a detective.
    • 1933, United States. Congress. House. Committee on Agriculture, Hearings[1], page 25:
      The next thing they did was to send a man sent down there from Baltimore and he spent a good deal of time gumshoeing around in that county trying to get another individual put in as secretary-treasurer.
    • 1988 September 23, Achy Obejas, “Calendar”, in Chicago Reader:
      " But these days, more and more women are gumshoeing through the pages of murder mysteries.

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